The Greely Music Boosters group has raised about 75% of its $55,000 goal to purchase a new grand piano for the Greely Center for the Arts in Cumberland. Those involved with the effort include Sarah Bailey, Greely High School’s choral director, and Boosters member Mike Perfetti. Alex Lear / The Forecaster

CUMBERLAND — A fundraiser for a new grand piano for the Greely Center for the Arts has surpassed $41,000 – almost 75% of the project’s $55,000 goal.

The Greely Music Boosters and School Administrative District 51 music teachers hope to have the 7-foot Yamaha C7X on the Cumberland stage in time for the 2020 Honors Jazz Festival, which takes place at Greely High School April 28-29.

“Yamaha sound is exquisite for jazz piano,” said Mike Perfetti, a member and past president of the Boosters.

The campaign began when Sarah Bailey, Greely High School’s choral director, and Kevin Rollins, the school’s jazz band director, received a $25,000 anonymous donation for a new piano at the arts center, a 26,650-square-foot facility built onto the school in 2017-18.

Donations are tax deductible and those interested can send checks to MSAD51 Greely Center for the Arts, Grand Piano, 357 Tuttle Road, P.O. Box 6A, Cumberland, ME 04021. Perfetti can also be reached at [email protected] or 232-4339.

Although the center has two good-quality upright pianos for concerts, “they’re just not a great instrument for this space,” Bailey said. An upright – referring to the vertical nature of its sound board, compared with the horizontal angle of a grand – is good for a home, but not an auditorium, Perfetti said.

“A grand piano gives you the length to do full strings, just really stretched right out, with lots of sound,” Bailey said. Its bass strings emit a full, rich sound.

A committee last year “canvassed experts” such as piano technicians, sellers and teachers, as well as arts centers at Freeport and Yarmouth high schools, to determine which piano was best for the 518-seat space, Perfetti said.

“All of the piano people said, if you can get a 7-foot grand piano, that’s perfect. It will do everything that you need it to do for a long time to come,” he said. “It’s the most appropriate instrument at the best value.”

A full-sized grand is 9 feet; a baby grand is about 5-6, Bailey said.

Yamaha is the piano’s manufacturer, and Falcetti Pianos of Natick, Massachusetts, is the dealer. Falcetti presented a price $20,000 lower than other dealers, and has loaned the school the same model at no cost until it has raised the necessary funds, Bailey said.

The $55,000 quote is good through March 31, and the campaign has a March 14 deadline. More than $16,000 has been raised since last fall apart from the $25,000 donation, an average of $489 per donor, Perfetti said. Nearly $14,000, or 25.2%, remains to be raised.

“We’re trying to bring it on home,” Perfetti said.

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